A tribute to and a lament for Marshall McLuhan.  Five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday, I present one of McLuhan’s observations and talk about its relevance today.  300 ideas. 300 days.  300 posts.

Can you ever really say good-bye?

Marshall McLuhan (March 1, 1966, age 54).   All can be well.

I do not know how people can say I am a cheerleader for the new electric media.  Here’s a line from Harold Rosenberg’s 1965 New Yorker article on me: “Understanding Media is McLuhan’s good-bye to Gutenberg and to Renaissance, ‘typographic’ man; that is to the self-centered individual.”

Well, it may be, but my hope is that it is not.  I am, myself, after all, a typographic man.  What I have often said I will say again.  Our culture and values, which were nurtured and developed by print, need not disappear as a result of the rise of the new electric media.  By studying these new media we can ensure that we survive them.  But study them we must for if we play the role of helpless bystander we will surely go the way of the Dodo.

Me (March 2010, age 57).  An experiment

A month ago, the Hinton household said good bye to TV.  In other words we are now studying the effects of TV on us.  How is it going?  The first effect is that we have returned to the dinner table to eat dinner.  The second is that TV has reappeared in our lives as the contents of other, newer media such as the internet (PBS.com, CBS.com, CTV.com, Global.com, etc.) and DVD.   And as McLuhan said the new media (DVD and internet download) does make the old media (TV) look like classic fare.  At any rate, “Nurse Jackie” on DVD does not feel like TV.  It feels more like film.  Or rather filmish.

Do you know anyone who has said good bye to TV or other media?  What has been the effect?

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading for this post

Letters of Marshall McLuhan, 1987, p. 334

Tags: , , , , , ,

Michael Hinton Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Communication, Culture, Technology, Vol. 1 No Comments

Leave a Reply